jennifer esposito interview

Award Winning Actress Jennifer Esposito and Mark Elenowitz, President of Horizon Fintex and Upstream, discuss the movement and crowdfunding for Jennifer’s filmmaking debut on her film Fresh Kills. Tokeinization and NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain are being leveraged. &

  • How does Upstream work – what’s the mission, services etc.

Upstream is a retail trading app. Its mission is to bring investment IPO opportunities to the general public, but on the same terms that would typically be reserved for a privileged few “Wall St. types”. 

Upstream then allows IPO shares bought by our community to trade on a regulated, safe secondary market; just like how people trade shares on Robinhood, with the difference being that Upstream does not secretly sell our communities’ order-flow. 

We’re so transparent that we even made the Upstream orderbook public on Ethereum, for all to see. And, we don’t employ market-makers, and we don’t allow shorting of a company’s shares. Everyone has the same pricing data, at the same time, and every user has the same chance of availing of trading opportunities that every other Upstream user has.

  • Can any person or company tokenize themselves on Upstream?

Companies, celebrities, athletes, music labels, and so on, can tokenize shares or a portion of future revenue streams on Upstream. And, Upstream even pays the celebrity venture dividends directly to the Upstream community inside our app.

Celebrities and athletes can also tokenize their NFTs and auction them on Upstream. Upstream operates an amazing retail NFT marketplace too, all inside our really cool app.

Upstream NFTs are the same ERC-721 standard that’s used on OpenSea, and the other popular NFT marketplaces out there. With one key difference being that anyone with a smartphone and a debit card can buy our NFTs; no MetaMask “learning curve” and no ETH cryptocurrency “gas” to pay, since Upstream pays NFT gas fees from the 2% commission that we charge the seller when an auction is successful. 

We’ve really made it simple for celebrities and regular users to offer NFTs to other Upstream users.

  • Why was the Ethereum blockchain selected for the platform?

Upstream chose Ethereum as it’s the de facto standard for digital securities; that use the ERC-20 standard to issue shares. Ethereum is the also the de facto home to NFTs; that use the ERC-721 standard for digital merch. There are other interesting  blockchains out there today, but none with a global community of developers, or are as decentralized as Ethereum.

Upstream runs on the Ethereum layer 2 rollup technology from

Upstream’s Ethereum virtual machine (EVM)-compatible rollups provide scale while preserving the Upstream user experience, our developer community experience and decentralization.

Upstream sees layer 2 as the future of Ethereum scaling, and the only safe way to scale Ethereum transactions while preserving decentralization.

Our rollups are layer 2 solutions that handle transactions outside the main Ethereum chain (layer 1) that then post blockchain transaction-data on layer 1.

  • Any plans to integrate other smart contract blockchains into the platform?

We’re always on the lookout for cool technologies that complement the Upstream community. Our NFTs can be exported to OpenSea and can trade on other networks such as Polygon. The sky’s the limit for the blockchain community and Upstream is the best place to start this journey!

  • What currencies can users pay with when crowdfunding? Fiat and crypto?

Well, in crypto, a holder can exchange any crypto for another. So, we decided to offer our crypto payment rail as Ethereum’s ERC-20 USDC token. Just send us USDC from Ethereum, and wait for the “ding” from the Upstream apps push notification to tell you that you’re ready to trade!

We also accept, credit and debit cards from anywhere in the world! And, we even accept electronic funds transfers from any retail bank. And, to cap off how amazing our fiat on-ramp is .. we offer $250,000 worth of insurance for every users fiat that’s being used inside Upstream for IPOs, NFTs or trading. 

  • What’s on the roadmap for Upstream?

More issuers for our community to invest-in and buy NFTs-from.

Fiat to USDC “foreign exchange” inside Upstream to convert from one “dollar” to the other.

Upstream Custodial Accounts (13-17 year olds).

NFT Selection Boxes (a goodie bag, with all sort of NFTs inside).

NFT import to Upstream for auctioning amongst our community for NFTs on OpenSea and other ERC-721-standard platforms.

Autonomous automated-market-maker (AMM) smart contract for Upstream shares in the secondary market, using a constant product formula (CPF) just like Uniswap.

And any community suggestions via the DAO (pronounced dow), a Decentralized Autonomous Organization.